Monday, December 29, 2008 bear with's long and no pictures

I think I mentioned that I was going to do a small workshop on selling your artwork online at the Lakewood Arts Council's Community Art Center & Gallery later in the spring. So I have been checking out different sites for selling artwork.

I thought I would share what I have learned and where I have sold so far. I am actually learning alot by reading the forums and seeing what other artists have to say.

All of the online market places where I sell can be found by clicking on the right sidebar (or here) "Every Place I Sell". This is a nice, easy to use, e-signpost that you can send potential customers to. Take a look at mine and you will see you can click on the different marketplaces as well as see what sort of payment is accepted.

I uploaded several images at Imagekind a few days ago, which I understand is run by Cafe Press. Imagekind is for on-demand prints of your artwork, which is a nice service because I don't have the time or energy to figure out how to produce quality prints and would probably end up having to wallpaper my garage with the leftovers.
However, there is no way, that I can tell, to easily see who looks at your work or which images might be the most popular. There is a section where other Imagekind users can label you as a favorite, but I'm addicted to the "number of hits" information that I get from Etsy or Bonanzle. I also didn't care for their payment to the seller. They pay at the end of the month in which you have accumulated $50 or more in sales. While reading the forums I ran across another site, Artist Rising.

I uploaded a few images to Artist Rising but seemed to have difficulty doing so...easily. Quick and easy set-up is important for me as I don't have much time with all these sites and trying to learn on the run. So I don't have much more to say about this site, yet.....except you can sell original art or prints. One more option than Imagekind. While reading the forums at Artist Rising trying to figure out whether correcting my mistakes and continuing set-up would be worth it, I ran across someone talking about Yessy.

As you might know I started all of this with my Littleton Studio shop at Etsy back in September. Yessy, so far, is the closest to my lovely Etsy experience, only it is just for original art (no vintage, or supplies). It is an escrow site for artists and buyers which gives you the exposure and takes the headache out of dealing with payments. You are paid by Yessy once the buyer receives your artwork.

In their FAQ's they say if it can hang in a gallery it can be sold on Yessy, which means I can also sell my fiber art including cards and gift boxes. There are great statistics to help you see what traffic is coming into your gallery and what pieces of your artwork are most popular. I had good traffic from all over the world last night and this morning, we'll see about traffic in a couple of days after my name comes off the front page as a new gallery. The set-up was uber-easy and you are able to try a 14-day free trial period. If you don't cancel your gallery before the 14 days is up you are charged $59.00 for the year. You are also able to see what artwork is selling by using the category search on the lower left sidebar. The categories are straightforward and the sight looks very clean. It's hard to get lost, some of the other sites I felt like I was in a maze. Check out my main gallery, Littleton Studio, and on the upper right sidebar you can see I have a Fine Art-Dry Media gallery, and a Fiber Art gallery.

Another site I tried is ArtbyUs, an auction site for your artwork. Awhile back I said I didn't like the auction environment for my artwork, but I thought I would try. So far, I have no bids on an art quilt and a miniature colored pencil piece. I just found where the "views" are and they are pretty modest compared to Yessy. Browsing through the site I see LOTS of artwork in the auctions with 0 bids. I don't have high hopes, or even low hopes for this site.

So far, I have only sold artwork on Etsy in my Littleton Studio. I sold a pastel painting, several quilts, several fiber art pieces and handmade greeting cards. Ten pieces in all in the last 4 mos.

One thing I do know, is that you cannot set up a marketplace and just expect someone to find you. You must drive your own traffic to the sites and promote yourself just like you were in a brick and mortar gallery. There is really no way around that.

If you have any thoughts or experiences with any of these sites: Etsy, Imagekind, Yessy, Artist Rising, or ArtbyUs please feel free to leave a comment. I'm interested in ease of set-up, being able to see statistics, layout of site, and sales if any.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Prints Available Now at Imagekind

I've just uploaded several of my colored pencil pieces to Imagekind. They are now available for note cards, prints and canvases.

Imagekind allows you to choose the size of print or canvas you would like to order. You can also choose framing.

I will be loading more artwork over the next week or so.

Tea & Sympathy, colored pencil

String Theory, colored pencil

Pears & Cherries, colored pencil

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Experiment with Auctioning Artwork

I am experimenting with a new online marketplace, ArtByUs, that is solely for artwork.

This miniature piece, Blue Cup & Peaches, is currently being auctioned in my gallery, Littleton Studio. The minimum bid is $35.00. I do have a reserve set but if you mention that you saw it auctioned on my art blog, Color On! I will waive the reserve. You can "buy it now" for $55, or you can start the bidding at $35.

SOLD Blue Cup & Peaches, colored pencil on Stonehenge paper 2.5" x 3" miniature.

I will be giving a talk in May at the Lakewood Arts Council's Community Art Center & Gallery (LAC) about online market places and ways to sell your art online. So I am trying lots of different venues to see how they work and what audiences they attract.

The first week in January I will be publishing a new blog, LAC President's Blog, to provide the latest information on what's happening at LAC and showcase our talented co-op artists. I will be serving as President of the LAC Board for 2009 and the new blog is part of my goal to gain exposure for LAC. I hope it will be widely read.

I decided to accept the position as President because I have gained so much from the LAC organization and the people involved. As a brand new artist 5 years ago I was able to gain so much confidence and exposure that I hope to do the same for others. LAC is, however, so much more than visual arts...performing arts, literary arts, community events, partnership with other organizations, etc. I hope you'll check out the new blog in January and you may be inspired to start a community arts organization in your area. It's the best!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Home for Two Pears

What a good day yesterday! My Lollishops and Etsy shops are beginning to take off, and I had a lovely surprise....sold "Two Pears" to an Australian buyer.

I have taken the month of December off from my pastel classes, just too much to do. I think we are going to start up again in January on Saturdays, which will work much better for me. If I don't like to go out at night, does that make me an old lady??? Plus, sometimes on Wednesday nights my little Opal comes over to play...and I can't miss that!

Here's a pic of my girl taken a few months ago in her play high heels. She is just like her Mommy in that she loves shoes...ballet shoes, tap shoes, Ugg boots, pink Princess boots, tennis shoes, patent leather shoes...and on it goes!

Christmas Eve is shaping up to be one terrific night of family, so keep good thoughts for no snow.
I'd go for a dry "HO,HO,HO"!!